TAMPA — Practice made for perfection in the eyes of Jesuit first-year coach Matt Thompson, whose team won the Class 5A, District 9 championship Friday night with a homecoming victory against Middleton.
Jesuit (6-3, 2-0) had two weeks to prepare for Middleton (2-7, 0-2) after a bye and its defense dominated. Aided by excellent field position, Jesuit rolled to a 29-0 halftime lead with its three touchdown scoring drives covering 13, 35 and 35 yards — two on passes from quarterback Vincent Testaverde. The other TD came on a 41-yard interception return by Daniel Doan, one of four turnovers produced by the Jesuit defense.
"This is great … awesome," Thompson said. "It was a perfect atmosphere and it was a perfect night.
"We had two good weeks of practice and it showed (Friday). We didn't take (Middleton) lightly, because we knew they had some weapons on offense."
Middleton had a nightmarish first half. Starting quarterback Marcellus Ray was knocked out of the game briefly with a left ankle injury, Middleton had only 39 yards offense (93 for the game), three turnovers and it was penalized 10 times for 75 yards (119 yards overall).
Jesuit's Malik Davis rushed for 90 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown.
Jesuit wraps up its regular season Friday against rival Tampa Catholic.
Don Jensen, Times correspondent